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Choosing the right insulation for your home is serious business. Styrofoam has become such an accepted everyday product that people often don’t understand how Styrofoam harms the environment. By Seth Truscott College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences . It is also made from cancer-causing chemicals that become dangerous when they come in contact with hot foods or liquids, because the material begins to decay. Often, however, a highly-toxic flame-retardant chemical known as hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is added to Styrofoam. As a result, fish and wildlife are becoming intoxicated. The goal of this project is to encourage students to learn more about how styrofoam affects both humans and the environment. The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. And this makes many Styrofoam products attractive to dogs. However, its harmful effects outweigh its cheap and convenient use, drawing significant cause for a ban on polystyrene. Styrofoam is used to hold many tasty beverages and treats. CD Cases, food-service products, and luggage; you name it, this chemical might be there. Scientists have learned that the beetle larvae can digest styrofoam, thanks to microbes in their digestive system. Keep rooms with photocopiers well ventilated, and avoid exposures to cigarette smoke. 38 Related Question Answers Found Can you use Styrofoam in planters? Hot foods and liquids actually start a partial breakdown of the Styrofoam, causing some toxins to be absorbed into our bloodstream and tissue. Styrofoam is 2 to 3 times cheaper than plastic containers and coated paper boxes. Styrofoam choking and clogging animals digestive systems. 5. They are highly toxic, and like plastic, they don’t easily go away. 4. (www.atsdr.cdc.gov) Is it true that Styrofoam contains toxic chemicals? Styrofoam, The Danger to Animals, the Environment and Humans. Is it safe to eat off Styrofoam? Food in styrofoam containers can be contaminated from the chemicals, and this effect is made worse when people heat food up in the containers. Any little morsel that can be licked off a Styrofoam container is like a little taste of heaven for a dog. Over a few decades, humans have managed to dump tons upon tons of garbage into the ocean. That is the same grade given to human papillomavirus (HPV), which has been linked to cervical cancer. These are levels of a toxic substance in air, water, soil, or food that do not exceed a critical value. Polystyrene foam's light weight and insulation properties also make it a favorite choice for cups, plates and bowls at family picnics. Brooke Lierman are introducing a ban on polystyrene foam foodservice products, including the trademarked Styrofoam … Styrene: A toxic chemical used to make polystyrene resins and other materials. Most importantly, they wondered if the HBCD could pass into the farm animals (chicken or fish) if they ate the worms, then into humans if they ate the animals. Just think of how many times you've brought home restaurant leftovers in a Styrofoam doggy baggy. For two reasons: It’s toxic and it never goes away. What Can I Do? Is Styrofoam toxic to humans? Will microwaving Styrofoam kill you? Styrofoam is detrimental to the environment, the material takes over five hundred years to biodegrade. As bad as this is, it is far worse to burn the material. Burning styrofoam in a small space can result in exposure to toxic fumes. Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, poses a great danger to landfills. Polystyrene (a.k.a styrofoam) is toxic to humans and the environment. However, the mass of micro-plastics exposure to humans is not defined, impeding the human health risk assessment. Because styrofoam is dangerous to animals, humans and landfills alike. While at work or out and about, bring your own mug for coffee and other hot beverages. Styrene is toxic to humans and a major pollutant. Styrofoam Cutting Hazards; Deer Protein Allergies; Normal IgE Levels; Types of Antiseptic; Effects of Inhaling Muriatic Acid Fumes; Share on Facebook; Propylparaben is a white crystalline solid that is frequently used in cosmetics, skin care products and food. Burning Styrofoam can also release hydrogen bromide, chloride and fluoride. The toxic substances that makeup styrofoam are called Styrene and Benzene and have proven to be dangerous to humans. It’s a ‘principle litter’ – meaning it’s everywhere. Styrofoam can also post health problems because it gives off toxic chemicals in to food that could be contain.This can damage human health and reproduction. Will stomach acid dissolve Styrofoam? In addition to creating safety problems during production, many chemical additives that give plastic products desirable performance properties also have negative environmental and human health effects. If the food within the container gets too hot this will cause the container to soften which may present a safety hazard for handling. These cites created bills and laws to solve the problem, but students and faculty can still have a large impact by adopting eco-friendly consumption strategies. Its industry ranks the 5th largest creator of toxic wastes in the USA. Can you heat Styrofoam? Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. Animals love to eat styrofoam. It has a generally low toxicity by ingestion. Hot liquids in styrofoam cups release toxic carcinogens into the beverage; heat leeches them into the liquid, avoid them for coffee or tea, etc. Styrofoam is petroleum based and starts as small, spherical beads that contain an expanding agent called hydrocarbon. Do Styrofoam cups cause cancer? Many people consider Styrofoam itself to be toxic, especially when exposed to direct sunlight, because the styrene leaks out. The end product is about 98% air. This legislative session, Maryland state Sen. Cheryl Kagan and Del. Of the most devastating elements of this pollution is that plastics takes thousands of years to decay. Styrofoam typically contains HBCD, which is a highly-toxic flame-retardant chemical. The humans can be exposed indirectly just like the wildlife especially through the consumption of contaminated fish, meat, and dairy products, The toxic components inhaled through the smoke from burning plastic materials may cause the hormonal imbalance and sex behavioral orientation of your newborn baby. The follow-up study was conducted to examine if this additive accumulated within the bodies of the mealworms when they consumed Styrofoam made with it. Yes. Is Styrofoam toxic to humans? Does microwaving plastic give you cancer? When you heat food in the microwave using … 4 eo O f S`= fqB ~ ^- et6 Hؙ s JaJ $N@ |2 &6L w#yWB G N}h I 2/n1j , Why? Hot foods and liquids actually start a partial breakdown of the Styrofoam, causing some toxins to be absorbed into our bloodstream and tissue. Insects aren’t typically on American dinner menus. When you drink your steaming cup of coffee or spoon your chicken noodle soup or chili out of a Styrofoam cup, you also take in small doses of chemicals that leach from it. You expect it to seal your home and help you lower your energy bill, but sometimes, saving money comes at a hidden cost you might not be willing to pay. This critical value is usually based on levels that affect animals; they are then adjusted to levels that will help protect humans. If a large piece of styrofoam is ingested, it can cause gagging and choking. It’s toxic just to make it. Polystyrene foam, better known under the trademarked name Styrofoam, is the material of choice for many coffee cups and takeout containers used in restaurants. The polystyrene beads are heated with steam, and as the hydrocarbon boils, the beads soften and expand up to forty times their original size. Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable substance used for insulation, most commonly found in keeping our beverages hot and storing our leftovers. For … The scientists were concerned that … Gross. Polystyrene contains the toxic substances Styrene and Benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are hazardous to humans. That includes liquid and solid wastes. Toxic spray foam insulation is the worst mistake you can make as a homeowner. Styrene is the building block for Styrofoam, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists styrene as a “probable carcinogen to humans”. Cutting Styrofoam with a hot knife is not recommended, as heating or burning Styrofoam will result in a release of the chemicals combined in Styrofoam, such as aromatic hydrocarbons, styrene and ethyl benzene. Quote from the above web site. Styrofoam is made from the plastic polystyrene, which is based on building blocks called styrene monomers. Styrofoam is a foam plastic that does not break down or get absorbed into the body when ingested. Exposure to these chemicals in Styrofoam can affect the central nervous system, resulting in … Styrofoam is made from polystyrene, which is a petroleum-based plastic. The material can take hundreds of years to decompose, increasing the clutter in already-full landfills. Is Styrofoam toxic to humans? Hot foods and liquids actually start a partial breakdown of the Styrofoam, causing some toxins to be absorbed into our bloodstream and tissue. The good news is that although styrene is toxic to humans, the small amount of chemical absorbed by your food is not enough to suddenly kill you. Styrofoam is actually the trade name for polystyrene. Polystyrene contains the toxic substances Styrene and Benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are hazardous to humans. The white powder is the degrading Styrofoam. 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